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THE OMAYYAD CALIPHATE          49
Constantinople or raiding some part of the Byzantine
Empire year after year, always acting on the offensive
and rarely suffering disaster.
.Tezid declared Heir-A$paren^ A.H. 56 (676), and his
Succession in A.H. 61 (680).—While at the zenith of
his power and prestige, Muavia decided to designate
Yezid, his eldest son, as his successor. Syria and Irak
acquiesced in the innovation, whereas at Mecca and
Medina the outcry was loud and bitter. But Damascus
was now the capital, and the protests even of sacred
Mecca could be disregarded by the Caliph, who forced its
inhabitants to take the oath of fealty at the point of the
sword. The feeling that was excited found expression in
an epigram which Masudi has preserved :
We're filled full of wrath, and were we to drain
The blood of Omayya, our thirst would still pain :
While wasting your people, ye still without care,
Ye sons of Omayya, go hunting the hare.1
Muavia died in A.H. 6 r (680), and thanks to the effective
arrangements he had made, Yezid, his son by the daughter
of a Beduin chief, succeeded to the Caliphate as if it had
been a hereditary throne, although his tenure of it did
not by any means continue untroubled. He was specially
addicted to the pleasure of the chase, as the epigram just
quoted shows, and gave very little attention to affairs of
State. But he does not appear to have been an incom-
petent ruler, and he hardly merits the invective with
which his name has been loaded on account of the
tragedy of Kerbela.
The Rebellion of Ibn Zobayr, A.H. 61 (680).—As
Muavia had foretold, Abdulla ibn Zobayr proved a
dangerous man. Having himself sent Husayn to his
death on the field of Kerbela, he took advantage of the
unpopularity this deed brought upon the Caliph to head
a rising against him. For a time the crafty rebel pre-
tended to be loyal, and Yezid was naturally loath to take
extreme measures ; but at last, in A.H. 63 (682), he was
obliged to send a force to Medina, which, after defeating
1 Masudi, ii. 50,    The translation is quoted from Qmayyads and Abbasids by Zaydan,
VOL. II                                                                                                      E